Lee’s Back

Cliff Lee made his second debut with the Phillies tonight, and fans showed the love.

He got a loud ovation walking from the bullpen to the dugout before the game. I don’t recall an ovation like that since I started covering the team in 2003. Jim Thome got a huge ovation in his first game at the Vet. Roy Halladay got a huge ovation in his first start at the Bank. But this was sustained as Lee walked to the dugout. Very cool. Very loud.

“These fans have a knack for getting a little louder than everyone else,” Lee said. “I don’t what it is. I don’t know if it’s alcohol induced or what, but they definitely have a knack for getting really loud and supporting their team.”


The last time the Phillies opened the season at home and won their first two games was 1980.


The Phillies have 24 hits in two games, but just four extra-base hits! And no home runs! Bring back the long ball!



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I keep hearing that phrase “small ball” tossed around about the offense in the last 2 games, but 24 hits in 2 games sounds pretty big to me.

Small ball is referring to the lack of reliance on the long ball. Small ball is good because it means that you haven’t lost your focus on the fundamentals. You’re taking it one base at a time: working counts, get on 1st/steal 2nd/sac fly or single gets you to 3rd (or home if you have some speed). Small ball will kill the other team most of the time. If the whole team hit like Albert Pujols, missing the long ball would be an issue. But small ball works just fine.

Small ball will get you there. It’s a better strategy to chip away at a defense than to try and win it on one swing of the bat. Small ball also means you focus on winning as a team, relying on the next batter to advance you or send you home, rather than going with the lower percentage play of swinging for the fence. Small ball is team ball.

This is the best “dream team” since the 1961 Yankees maybe even better than the 1927 Yankees team. We’ll find out come November.

The Phillies started today with some long ball, and got their last couple of runs with some textbook smallball. Nice mix.

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